With The Dead - Love From With The Dead,
Formed in 2014 by former Cathedral/Napalm Death frontman and Rise Above Records boss Lee Dorrian and ex-Electric Wizard/Ramesses bassisit/guitarist Tim Bagshaw, With The Dead released their debut album a year later, and now they return with a new line-up and their second album. Joining Lee and Tim are bassist Leo Smee and drummer Alex Thomas, who replaces the departed Mark Greening. The new line-up hit it off so quickly that after just one night’s rehearsal they decided that they may as well see if they could write new material together, and after four new numbers were developed very quickly they decided to record them. These all appear on the album, and it is strange to think that the first time they had played together was less than a week before that.
This is an unusual album in many ways, as while it is still doom, there is a brutality that one wouldn’t normally expect from the genre. It is as if Lee is channelling angst and aggression as he used to with his first band, but at the same time providing more of the musical forms of the second. The drumming is also far more frantic and heavy that one would expect, all over the place as opposed to keeping down a steady beat, as if Alex is attempting to drive through the skins, but Leo’s bass is fuzzed and distorted to the max while Tim provide crunching riffs. But again, these riffs are sometimes doom-laden, yet at others have a far more outwards aggression than one would expect.
Has Lee created a new genre? I’m not sure, but I can see where he’s coming from. “I don’t feel like mellowing out. The world’s getting worse, the atmosphere is getting heavier, people treat each other like shit and there’s so much negativity, how are you supposed to chill out when all that’s going on? I’m in a privileged position to be in a band like this, so why fuck around? The band is called With The Dead and it’s a doom band, why would you want to mellow out? It’s got to be pure nihilism or nothing.”
Doom with angst, and a raw brooding power that goes over the top, this is well worth investigating.